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10-04-2012, 10:54 PM   #166
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QuoteOriginally posted by NZ_Ross Quote
So, in your opinion where does that leave Pentax?
Honestly in my view, in a bit of a pickle. I know there is a diehard outdoors market who appreciate the lens size and reach of APS-C, but with the advent of weathersealed mirrorless this year there are now some well-built, even smaller options with even greater reach (and comparable IQ).

Then there are people who much prefer OVFs, but again FF provides significantly bigger ones with a commensurate bump in image quality in a similar sized body....it's tough. For many here i understand Pentax represents a perfect "sweet spot" but I fear that group isn't big enough (and likely shrinking) for Pentax to truly compete at a global level.


Last edited by illdefined; 10-04-2012 at 11:22 PM.
10-04-2012, 11:14 PM   #167
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QuoteOriginally posted by NZ_Ross Quote
That was my first impression too, but when you look at Thom Hogan's analysis that is not what he is saying
I read Thom's stuff, have even conversed with him, but he makes most of his traffic by critiquing Nikon. He is a hardcore industry observer but he's not an insider, finding out a lot of stuff at the same time we do. He may very well be right that many DX users aren't buying Nikon's expensive FF glass, but that doesn't mean that's still not Nikon's intended plan.

If DX users really aren't happy with Nikon's DX lens lineup, I think mirrorless is a much bigger threat to them than another brand's "dead-end" (ie. no upgrade path) APS-C line. Afterall, the real hardcore "APS-C birders" on Nikon do like using FX lenses on their crop bodies..

No, I see Nikon much more vulnerable on the lower end with the Nikon 1 system now being outclassed by a Sony compact. Meanwhile, Pentax is in danger of overspecializing with neither mirrorless nor FF, into just one slice of the market that i see only getting smaller (and older).

Last edited by illdefined; 10-04-2012 at 11:51 PM.
10-05-2012, 06:06 AM   #168
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
The Pentax Corporation that Hoya bought (in a Board driven hostile takeover) was not the Pentax Camera company. No major camera brand (that I know of - Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Olympus, Kodak, Samsung or Sony) other than Leica (associated with Panasonic) - exists as a free-standing company - they're all part of a larger conglomerate imaging company that has access to capital and can spread imaging R&D costs across numerous applications.

Pentax may actually be better off as part of Ricoh than it was as part of Hoya and than it was a part of its own imaging products conglomerate since Ricoh seems to need the patents and the imaging technologies to exploit in its B2B divisions.

Just to be clear, Pentax was a freestanding company before the Hoya boys took them over. They also had medical gear and surveillance cameras and lenses. In fact, the latter is what the Ghostless Coating was developed for.
10-05-2012, 12:57 PM   #169
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Eh... that's just not true in any way. You obviously have no concept of the business world...

10-07-2012, 07:30 PM   #170
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QuoteOriginally posted by bluefoam Quote
You obviously have no concept of the business world...
Not sure who you're referring to, buddy, but ad hominem is quite a rude way of trying to prove a point...
10-07-2012, 10:59 PM   #171
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alizarine Quote
Not sure who you're referring to, buddy, but ad hominem is quite a rude way of trying to prove a point...
So is taking a quote out of context...

QuoteOriginally posted by bluefoam Quote
Eh... that's just not true in any way. You obviously have no concept of the business world...
I believe I had quoted another post which has subsequently been removed by its owner... Hence my post no longer has context of its own...
10-07-2012, 11:53 PM   #172
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Your not a Looper are you...
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10-08-2012, 12:59 AM   #173
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QuoteOriginally posted by bluefoam Quote
So is taking a quote out of context...
But the intent is there. We don't even know what "what is not true" as you're saying. But since the post you say you quoted (I can't see it now maybe), then I guess the point is moot. So, back to topic perhaps: opinions on the Pentax rep's answers during the Photokina interview.

10-09-2012, 01:46 PM   #174
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Thom Hogan's analysis would be more persuasive if he explained why he's only considering Dx lenses and not including Nikon's Fx lenses, all of which work on Nikon Dx cameras (barring auto-focus on with some of them on their entry level Dx bodies). Notwithstanding that, I'm not sure how Nikon's predicament, if that's what it is, makes Pentax look better. Sure, Pentax has a few cute little prime lenses that are rather good, but overall the range of lenses currently made by Pentax has lots of gaps compared to Canon and Nikon (hardly any faster than f/2.8, hardly any competitive zooms), and few if any of them perform as well as Canon lenses do mechanically (I switched from Pentax to Canon six months ago and still haven't quite gotten used to how astonishingly fast and accurate focusing is on the Canon lenses I've bought and rented). Filling the gaps with third party manufacturers is all very well, but they often have performance issues too.
10-09-2012, 01:54 PM   #175
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Lea Quote
I completely agree with kjames5. He said, much better than I could, what I was trying to say in my earlier post. The K-5 and its lenses is a far better travel camera than anything Canon can offer, and has an unbeatable combination of ruggedness and low-light capabilitiy.

As for "success", it's OK to be a niche player if you have a USP - take Leica, for example. And the Pentax system certainly has a USP.

Peter Lea
Yes, the K-5 has good low light performance for a APS-C body, but it's easily surpassed in that regard by FF cameras; which is one reason why I would rather travel with a Canon 5DII....
10-09-2012, 01:57 PM   #176
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QuoteOriginally posted by simonrob Quote
Yes, the K-5 has good low light performance for a APS-C body, but it's easily surpassed in that regard by FF cameras; which is one reason why I would rather travel with a Canon 5DII....

I have to say I appreciate the size of the K-5 and LTD lenses when I travel. For that matter, the F 28/2.8 and FA 50/1.4 are not large lenses either.

Last edited by Blue; 10-10-2012 at 07:07 AM.
10-10-2012, 06:57 AM   #177
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If you can travel comfortably with a Canon 5D, good luck to you. A three hour hike in the Sinai desert with one and three L lenses convinced me I couldn't.
I also found the camera too big to be inconspicuous, and was taken as a pro a couple of times when I didn't want to be.
The K-5 is light enough, small enough, with good enough lenses, and good enough low light IQ, to satisfy my needs. YMMV.
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10-10-2012, 07:44 AM   #178
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QuoteOriginally posted by simonrob Quote
rather travel with a Canon 5DII....
I guess each to his own, but that added 178 grams vs the K-5 will make a great difference to me once the trails get steeper and breathing becomes harder...
10-12-2012, 02:31 PM   #179
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Praise for Pentax APS-C System

As I posted earlier on this thread - Thom Hogan is currently undertaking a month of analysis of the Nikon DX system and cameras. As part of this analysis he is also comparing the Nikon system with what is offered by other manufacturers including Pentax. It would be fair to say that Thom in a Nikon guy, and no fan of Pentax - yet look at what he has to say (apologies for the length of the article, but it is worth reading in full). The original article is at Thom Hogan's Nikon Camera, DSLR, Lens, Flash, and Book site

"So Is Nikon Any Worse Than Others?
Oct 11, 2012--It seems the most common email this week actually anticipates something I was about to write. Basically the question is this: "so is Nikon really worse than the other choices?"

The answer is "not especially." That's damning with faint praise. I do believe that NikonUSA's policies have gotten more restrictive faster than CanonUSA's, but there isn't a camera company I know of that's hitting it out of the park when it comes to support, service, and attention to customers. Heck, I'm not sure any of them are even hitting a single.

I've used the term "race to the bottom" before, and it really feels like we're headed that way when it comes to cameras. The camera companies are busy trying to chase any new customer they can, but the need to cut costs and push more boxes is redirecting resources away from the loyal customers.

In essence, the camera companies purport to sell systems, but their support of the actual systems they produce is severely lacking. They're more interested in getting more people into the system than keeping people in the system. They think that the existing customers are locked in due to lens and other purchases.

In Nikon's case, it's even more disingenuous than that. Nikon has effectively said to DX customers: start in DX, buy FX lenses, then move to FX. Not just a lock in, but an expensive lock in when it comes to upgrade time, as the equivalent FX bodies are 2x the price of the DX body they mimic (D600 versus D7000, for instance). In other words, they're playing you for an upsell. Of course, if you didn't buy any FX lenses (and there aren't really many DX lenses you'd be buying into), you're not locked in at all.

Indeed, one correspondent pointed something out to me that I hadn't considered before: the D3200/D5100 user can't use anything but AF-S lenses. For the most part these are much more expensive than the camera body they're buying into, so they don't buy (m)any. Meanwhile, if they could have used the older D-type AF lenses, they might have been accumulating lenses on the used market, and those lenses would have been FX. In short, the low end purchasers aren't locking in much, but that's the bulk of Nikon's DSLR sales. Nikon has to get those folk up to the D7000 or higher level to truly lock them in. I think there's a high likelihood that these users will go downwards, not upwards, when it comes time to upgrade. If m4/3 and NEX can fix continuous autofocus performance, that would be exactly where these folk go.

But the other part of the "is Nikon really worse" comments have to do with crop-sensor lenses. I've already outlined that Nikon has a very limited list of DX lenses, and some clear gaps. So maybe the other crop-sensor DSLR makers do better?

Canon. No, they don't. Canon's EF-S lineup in some ways is more limiting than Nikon's DX lineup. They have fewer of the "kit zoom" and "convenience zoom" type options, and the same kind of missing primes problem. Since Nikon watches Canon as their main competitor (and vice versa), it's almost like each is watching to see if the other will make a real move in crop lenses. So far, neither has.
Sony. No, they don't. Sony's APS offerings for Alpha aren't really any more robust than Nikon's or Canon's. Sony's looking at Nikon and Canon and trying to figure out how to leverage themselves upward in market share. So far, Sony's innovations all lie in the camera body. In terms of crop lenses, they're pretty me-to. Given that the innovations in body haven't made a dent in the Canikon domination of DSLRs, maybe that's not where the way to crack the market lies?
Pentax. Yes, they do. The smallest player has the most options. True, a lot of the primes they're produced are capable of full frame sensor coverage, but most of those are small and many are pancake, which suits the crop sensor shooters perfectly. Pentax is also the only DSLR company that produced a fast crop sensor telephoto zoom (50-135mm). In short, if you were buying a crop sensor DSLR to fulfill small/light/inexpensive (as compared to FX), the most complete answer to that right now is Pentax. Indeed, it's probably one reason why they're still in the game at all. But their body choices are limited, and some of their technology (autofocus comes to mind) feels a bit dated. That plus their migrant status as they've been bought and sold by bigger companies twice has slowed their execution and completely muddled their sales and marketing. Still, they seem to be trying, where the other players seem to be just looking at each other.
My cynical view is that nothing will change until something forces it to change. Right now the thing that is changing is that some high end DX shooters are simply moving to low end FX, which, of course, isn't going to motivate the camera makers to fix their crop sensor deficiencies. Likewise, as long as Canon and Nikon can push sales of their gear upwards and not lose share to other companies, they're not motivated to change direction or policies toward user support, either.

As I've noted before and on my sansmirror.com site, m4/3 is the first thing that has really started to challenge the status quo (with Sony NEX adding a bit to that). Olympus, for example, has restored their previous high in interchangeable lens camera market share. It's probable that this will go even higher if they can continue to fill out their system and improve performance. Both Nikon and Canon now have mirrorless answers of their own, but these are again incomplete systems. As I've written before, if a company gives you an incomplete system after 13 years of producing it, what makes you think that their new system will ever be complete?

In short, I applaud Olympus and Pentax. I hope they continue to push the boundaries and produce better and fuller systems. I also respect what Sony has done with NEX, though it isn't yet clear Sony understands what they need to do with it to fill it out and make it a formidable competitor.

In DSLRs, Nikon and Canon are basically on the same course they were with film SLRs: just keep iterating the same products while grabbing market share through marketing, distribution, and price. Note that there used to be a third company doing that in film SLRs (and more successfully than Nikon): Minolta. It only took a lawsuit to disrupt them enough that the iteration tactic failed (that was true of Kodak in instant photography, too).

So I repeat: nothing will change until something forces it to change.

A few readers are tired of negative news about Nikon and blame me. I'm sorry, but I didn't stop selling parts. I didn't have a QA problem I wouldn't acknowledge with the D800. I didn't delay a D300s update. I didn't fail to produce more and more interesting DX lenses. I didn't raise repair prices. I didn't fail to keep Capture NX2 up to date, and I didn't change the protection system so that it limits the number of installs on the same computer. I didn't fail to repair 10% of my products on the first repair service. The list goes on.

Thus, it's possible that the thing that eventually forces a change is entirely self-imposed. One of these days, one of those negative news stories is going to spiral beyond Nikon's ability to manage it. In other words: could have been avoided.

So I'll continue my advocacy. Nikon needs to:

Quickly refresh the DX DSLR lineup. The D5100, D7000, and D300s are all overdue for replacement on Nikon's established schedule (and the D3200 was late).
Complete the DX system. Fill out the lens gaps and bring all the lenses up to the level that will be necessary for a post 24mp DX world.
Re-establish the message. With three interchangeable lens camera lines and a likely fourth in the future, Nikon really needs to get the marketing message for each right. CX is for compact camera users wanting performance (and it really should be called Coolpix, as I wrote several years ago, even before the Nikon 1 appeared). FX is for serious shooters looking for a system that matches the legacy equipment they're used to and performs at the highest levels. DX is the affordable, complete, and best choice for balancing performance, size, weight, and price. It's the everyman's interchangeable lens option.
Re-embrace their customers. Stop building walls and tear down most of the existing ones. If you have to charge for service and support, do so, but make sure it's quality service and support."

End of Thom article quote

If you accept that DX/APS-C has an on-going place within the camera eco-system, then this analysis is relatively good news for Pentax. They are doing good - sure they have areas to do better (as does every camera manufacturer).

It will be very interesting to see what the next few years bring for Pentax.

Ross
10-12-2012, 03:12 PM   #180
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If Thom Hogan is saying this, it means Pentax now stopped all APS-C lens development and are going full speed with the FF project
J/K - it's nice to hear him saying positive things about Pentax.
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